Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Walberg: Iraq is as safe as Detroit (Updated with Audio)

Just in case you were wondering how the war in Iraq was going, Tim Walberg informs us that the country is, basically, the same as Detroit.

I got this in an e-mail today from an attentive listener:
Yesterday, Tim Walberg on WILS radio said the following:

Walberg: "In talking with people who have been on the ground over
there (Iraq) and have returned in just recent days, as I will talk
coming up Wednesday when I'm over at Walter Reed Hospital again
talking to our troops as well as some of the officers who have
returned, they indicate to me that 80 to 85% in a conservative
fashion, of the country is reasonably under control at least as well
as Detroit or Chicago or any of our other big cites. That's an
encouraging sign."

Radio Host: "I've never heard Iraq compared to Detroit before."

Walberg: "Well in fact in many places it's as safe and cared for as
Detroit or Harvey, Illinois or some other places that have trouble
with armed violence that takes place on occasion."
Honestly, I don't know what to say to that.

UPDATE - 21 March, 5:28 PM: The Michigan Democratic Party has the audio here. The comments got some coverage in the Battle Creek Enquirer as well, with part of MDP Chairman Mark Brewer's statement:
State Party Chair Mark Brewer today demanded Walberg apologize for saying most of Iraq is as safe as Detroit. Walberg made the comments on a Lansing radio show Monday, Brewer said in a press release.

“Tim Walberg continues to embarrass and misrepresent the people in his district. He needs to immediately apologize to them, the city of Detroit and people across Michigan,” Brewer said.

“To compare our largest city to Iraq, a country currently in the middle of a bloody civil war where thousands of our troops and tens of thousands of civilians have been killed, many by beheading and torture, is unconscionable.

“His comments and rubber stamp approval of President Bush’s polices, including the plans for massive troop escalation, are out-of-touch with Michigan voters and what is needed to resolve this conflict.”

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When's the last time an IED exploded in Detroit? Seems to me this happens fairly regularly in Iraq. Walberg's comments clearly demonstrate how little he knows about the world...both near and far.
The guy's completely out of touch with reality!

He's probably scared to death to visit Detroit, doubt he's ever been there.

He's beyond belief! What and insult to Detroit!

2008. Anyone but Walberg!
George Bush says completely dumb and ridiculous things that are often very frustrating and indicative of a lack of intelligence, but are still humorous. This quote goes way beyond that. Apparently, Walberg says completely dumb and ridiculous things that show a completely warped sense of reality, true ignorance, and utter stupidity in the fullest sense of the word. I agree that it is an insult to Detroit and Chicago. How in the hell did he get elected?
"How in the hell did he get elected?"

Schwarz voters didn't vote in the primary. A pathetic 17 percent turnout and he won the primary with less than 8 percent of the voters going to the polls. He was elected by default.

Never, ever fail to vote in a primary. It's the MOST IMPORTANT election.
Does anyone have audio of that? I cannot believe he really said it without laughing. One of hte reasons crime in Michigan is in such sad shape was Walberg's no votes on State Police funding that Sharon Renier pointed out.

The fact that we can even compare crime in Detroit to Iraq is sad, but it is partially Walberg's doing.
After Mark Brewer made his comments, this story has blown up all over the wires. Check out Google news for Walberg's latest press splash.

I have two major problems with Walberg's statement:

1. It is totally absurd, irresponsible, and attempts to sugar-coat a very serious issue.

2. Why would he drag Detroit down with him? If he wants to make absurd statements, fine, but why take a jab at Detroit? Our state is reeling under decisions he made as a state rep and will continue to suffer under his "leadership" in Washington.

For one, he attacks No-Child-Left-Behind, which, for all of its faults, was aimed at helping failing school districts like Detroit's. Detroit has struggled to "live within it's means" for years (due to declining auto jobs, severe poverty and years of financial mismanagement) and only someone like Tim Walberg would propose the solution of abolishing the Department of Education (remeber this is after he consistently voted to cut public school funding at the state level and also worked tirelessly for private school vouchers.)

Tough love is one thing, but kicking our fellow Michiganders while they are down is sure as hell not what I want my Congressman to do.

I hereby charge him with one count of "reckless discharge of an oral cavity" and sentence him to a night in jail in either Detroit or Baghdad, his choice. I'd put $1,000 dollars on him choosing the Wayne County Jail.
Fitzy, promise you will not let your foot off of Walberg's throat on this. He has done this in the past, opening his mouth and inserting damn near his entire leg in his mouth, only to slither off, unharmed save a few scratches.

I expect him to rally some prominent African-American figures in the district to his side. Make sure it does not work and it is documented here.

I watched the Schwarz people let him off the hook for a similar comment about the Middle East. He basically said that people in the Middle East are unable to understand peace and reject war because of the violence which permeates their religions. The truth is many major religions have violent sects while the great many practicioners are non-violent. True in Judaism, true in Christianity, and true as well of Islam. But, Walberg seems comfortable drawing broad inferences based on loose readings of facts.

We cannot be afraid to challenge his claims, even if he takes his usual path of regressing into Preacher-mode and verbal flip-flopping.

He has already released one statement, claimed to merely have relayed the comments of soldiers he has spoken with. But, if you go back to the transcripts, in typical Walberg fashion, he made that comment and went one step further by saying, "in fact." His relationship with facts has been demonstrated time and again to be loose at best, but this is one more bit of proof that his use of "facts" is malicious, racist and downright evil.
A little off topic, but I heard today Congress was discussing "pork" in the defense bill again.

Walberg wrongly criticized Schwarz for allowing pork to be in the defense bill, (he was an advocate for getting out of troop spending)but it looks like were are back to same-o same-o with the defense bill again loaded with pet projects and we've yet to hear Timmy denonuce it.

Looking forward to see how he handles it. He dished it out in the campaign, but is now faced with the same delimma Schwarz was. Lets see how his "character" comes through on this one! Stay tuned.
Here comes the spin machine. Walberg claimed on Fox News that his comment is a compliment to both Iraq and Detroit. He is so arrogant that he will never admit a mistake and we have him now on a national stage stumbling over words and saying increasingly ridiculous statements.

Check it out on Fox News. The have the same story which ran in a bunch of papers, but there is a box on the right with a link to a 2 and a half minute clip of him.

How do we keep this going? Every time he opens his mouth, it gets worse for him. The Fox interviewer even seemed to be a little annoyed with Walberg's double-talking.
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